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Church of Misery: Master of Brutality

There are plenty of perks about running a website like this and being able to comment on material before it hits stores, and that’s when you get the chance to rediscover long last albums. Thanks to The End Records, I went back to a few albums I haven’t heard in ages. Master of Brutality by Church of Misery is one of them. While this band was never on the top of my list of bands that kicked ass, this was one of the albums I appreciated for it’s dirty, heavy musical outlook on many famous serial killers. While Macabre usually sums it up without going into eleven and a half minute territory, but that’s one of the reasons that this effort was special to me.

Church of Misery‘s slow Doom Metal often went into a Droning pace for this effort, and the audio samples really gave the material more of a serious stance with an atmosphere that often captures the burdening plight consistant to the travesties that the individuals the songs are composed of are responsible for. The title track, “Master of Brutality (John Wayne Gacy)” doesn’t really offer much through that entire eleven plus minutes, but overall it becomes a song you can get wrapped up thanks to the distortion used by the group, and that aforementioned drone approach. This was actually the first song I heard from this album, though not the first by Church of Misery I was introduced to. To this day, I still love, being a song I could really just kick back too, even with the rather disturbing concept behind it.

But, while I greatly enjoy the longer tracks like that one, not all of them here really rub me the same way after all these years. Revisiting “Killifornia (Ed Kemper)” was a bit of a task. The audio clip outlining the discussion of man with a severed head find plenty of odd distortion and effects over it for a good minute and a half. I can’t stand that now, and it just seems to go on for too long. The music, once it kicks in, is superb and some of the best off the entire recording I think. The heavier tone of the music met with the slower pace and harsher vocals make me wish that I were kicking back in my couch with a large glass of some hard liquor. Of course this has to be met with dimmed lights, good friends, and a very laid back attitude for the gathering, much like the high school days among certain good friends… Just without the alcohol for me at least. I hate the taste of beer, always did and always will, and sadly that’s all that was ever present.

I’ve always been really partial to “Green River” too. The effect on the music just sends me off into the deep South of this country for some reason, making me wish I were sitting out front in my favorite work day clothes and watching the day go by. While I use to live in a remote area, replicating that exact feeling never worked, but it became a suitable substitute. The music would often lead me into a deep coma as well if I had it on repeat, which was usually a late night Summer thing to do at my place. If not that song, then the following “Cities on Flame” would do me in. Neither of these were due to bad musicianship, but because of how soothing they were to me.

Of course I always had some gripes about the album, but never enough to really walk away from it feeling like I should have been listening to something else. The only reason I still don’t have a physical copy of this is due to issues involving bills, and the need for some quick cash. Of course, at the local used music store, it didn’t fetch me more than a dollar fifty, and to be honest, that kills since this is definitely an album that I can say has agred pretty well. But, it was still money that helped keep the lights on. With this remaster available now, I got a chance to remember why this album was one of my teenage favorites, and I do intend to pick it up at some point and subject my fiancee to it, who will probably hate it because it’s too slow, which is the entire point in my opinion: Slow, heavy, yet very relaxing and atmospheric. Either way, this is one of those personal albums I just love when the weather, mood, and time is right. Master of Brutality is a suitable title for the lyrical content, but musically it seems to be nowhere near it, at least in my ears. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just another good Doom Metal album to kick back and unwind to, relaxing before I myself become the master of brutality…